DINO-Kinetics CLOSED in MARCH 2011. They hope to find a new location soon!
Jurassic Park meets Asheville. Even for such an artistic town, it's not a picture that is easily imagined. DINO-Kinetics, an interactive exhibit that combines engineering, art, and science, opened its doors in July 2010 in Biltmore Park (closed March 2011) to art enthusiasts, curious onlookers, and everyone in between. This very unusual and fascinating art installation will continue through the end of the year.
Designed and executed by the late and well-known River Arts District artist John Payne, the exhibit, which is now being generously displayed by his family (headed by wife Chris Payne), is comprised of large, steel dinosaur skeletons that visitors can move using pulley systems and gameboy controllers. But while the creatures sound fun, they are also quite beautiful. Payne was a local Asheville artist who understood the power of creativity. Combining his love of natural history with his artistic talent, he created this collection of life sized steel dinosaurs that toured the US and Canada, delighting all who saw them.
DINO-Kinetics features 16 dinosaurs, including six “giant mechanical marionettes,” as Payne called them, including a huge whooping crane, an oversized crow, a 40-foot long Tyrannosaurus Rex, a Triceratops, a Dinonycus and a Plesiosaur. It’s the first time that all the sculptures have been in one place.
Each sculpture was hand-hammered, forged, fabricated and linked so the dinosaurs can move through a pulley and cable system. Payne used sheet metal, recycled pieces of sundry materials and even old utility poles to make his giant metal marionettes. He innovated ways to mimic the joints of the creatures by adding ball and sockets to knees and elbows, manifesting his belief that “movement is life.”
Inspired by his love for natural history, Payne completed the dinosaurs over the course of four years, fulfilling his dream to be both an educator and artist.